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tv   US House of Representatives Special Orders  CSPAN  September 12, 2016 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 385, four nays and one present. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair lays before the house n enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 2040, an act to deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, and for ther purposes.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, i'm thrilled to recognize the minute tonka school district for being named the number one school district in minnesota by a website that analyzes education data across the country. the minnetonka school district has received an overall a-plus grade based on their excellence in several areas, including academics, educational outcomes, teachers and extra curricular opportunities. the school district received an a grade or higher in nine out of 10 different categories considered in the analysis. mr. speaker, i commend the teachers and the administrators of the mennetonka schools for their commitment to going above and beyond and educating stunalts from preschool to graduation, by dedicating themselves to providing an enriching learning environment, these educators are equipping students with all of the necessary stools to not only --
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tools to not only excel in the classroom but also contribute to leadership on sports teams, clubs and in our community. we're proud to have such an exemplary local system -- school system in our own backyard. congratulations to the teachers, students, administrators and the parents of mennetonka for this distinguished recognition and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i know that i join a large number of my colleague here in the house in concern for the white nose syndrome, the devastating fun does has killed between 5.7 million and six million bats across north america. recently i received news of grant funding to combat this disease and that pennsylvania will receive more than $30,000. as a member of the house natural resource committee, i've been active in ensuring the effects of white nose
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syndrome were appropriately addressed and i participated in field hearings on the subject, habitats where bat populations have been devastated by this fungus. there's an ecological importance to sustaining the bat population, as well as preventing the species from becoming endangered. which will cause great harm to resource, production, agriculture and construction across the commonwealth and a large part of the country. the rule final itesed in 2015 which listed the northern long-eared bat cleared the way for new conservation practices to be put in place for make new helping conservation measures possible without broadly prohibiting common land use activities. it is my hope that these measures will help us in the effort against white nose syndrome. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
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>> mr. speaker, i rise today to discuss recent developments in the area of underwater resource mapping. scientists at the scripts institution of oceanography used n.s.f. funding to develop instruments to conduct marine electroman magazine netic surveys. this technology uses electrical currents and con dux to search for freshwater aquifers in the ocean. which would reveal the location of drinking water supplies deep below the surface of the sea. mr. mcnerney: it's been clear to scientists that bodies of freshwater exist off the u.s.'s coast. this research created the only noninvasive method capable of sensing an extraction the exact location of these valuable drinking water reserves. this technology has also attracted the attention of oil companies who continue to develop the system to map out underwater resource deposits in three dimensions across the globe. important projects like these improve our search for natural
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resources and i commend the scripps institute and the national science foundation. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, on the 15th anniversary of the murderous attacks of september 11, former vice president dick cheney with liz cheney detailed how the next president will face greater risk to american families and a weaker military than ever before. in an op-ed published in the "wall street journal." with the president's legacy of weakness. quote, the president who came into office promising to end wars has made war more likely by diminishing america's strength and deterrence ability. he doesn't seem to understand that the credible threat of military force gives substance and meaning to our diplomacy. among the most important lessons of 9/11 was that terrorists must be denied safe
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havens from which to plan and launch attacks against us. on president obama's watch, terrorist safe havens have expanded around the globe. generations before have met and defeated grave threats to our great nation. american strength, leadership and ideals were crucial to the allied victory of world war ii and the defeat of soviet communism during the cold war. it's up to today's generation to restore america's preeminence so that we can defend our freedom and defeat islamic terrorists. end of quote. in conclusion, god bless our troops and may the president by his actions never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition? >> i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from kansas is recognized for one minute. mr. yoder: mr. speaker, i rise today truly saddened. i rise to speak the name of a slain police officer in our community for the third time in
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just a few short months. jonathan kenny sheriff, master deputy brenledsen collins was hit by a car while making a traffic stop early sunday morning and tragically killed. he leaves behind his wife and two daughters who are suffering unimaginable loss. deputy collins was only 44 years old and was just about to celebrate his 21st year with his department serving our community. brook and i want to extends our deepence condolences to his family and freds. you are you are all and will remain in our thoughts and prayers. deputy collins' death is a devastating reminder, especially this light of yesterday being the 15th anniversary of the attacks on september 11, that our first responders risk their lives all the time to protect us and keep us safe. we owe them a debt of gratitude, we will never be able to repay. mr. speaker, may god bless deputy collins and may he rest in peace. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom illinois seek recognition?
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without objection, the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. mr. dold: september 11 is a day that will live in our memory forever. for those old enough to remember pearl harbor, that was a day that was sered into their memory. for those in the early 1960's, november, 1963rk the day that president kennedy was shot, will live in their memory forever. everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news. but september 11, 2001, was a day that changed our world forever. and ultimately we know that on that day, as the first plane hit the world trade center, we thought it was a terrible accident. and when the second plane came in and hit that tower, we knew that it was something vastly different. we were under attack and frankly our way of life was under attack. and we are trained, mr. speaker, as young children to run away from danger. but our first responders are trained the opposite, to run towards it.
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so that fateful day, as people were exiting the world trade center, we had our first responders that were running in to try to save as many people as possible. what was also interesting is that flight 93, we had those citizens on that plane that realized what was going on and as they got word to their loved ones, and put the lives of americans in front of their own. that plane was coming most likely to this building right here, mr. speaker. so on the day after september 11, i want to make sure that americans realize that we thank our first responders and we thank those that are in uniform, those that are in our intelligence community that are trying to protect and save the united states of america from ever experiencing that type of attack again, so, again, god bless america, god bless our first responders and those in uniform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. lamalfa: thank you, mr.
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speaker. yesterday being the 15th anniversary of the september 11 terrorist attacks, i just wanted to commend the people in northern california, my district, the efforts they made to remember that and also say thank you for our firefighters, all up and down the district. the city of clmbings hico had - chico had much positive participation as well. one way to start the day by saying thank you to our first responders. the city of chico with their fire department, led by chief bill heck, was able to have a ery, very moving and well done 9/11 commemoration, starting at the elks hall because the fire station is no longer large enough to house all the people showing up and participating which is a good thing. but also the solemnnyity they
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use in presenting on behalf of the firefighters lost 15 years ago, as well as remembering the first responders need to be respected and properly taken what so they can see they need done in the line of duty. we commend the city of chico, the fire department, for making the community part of this, culminating in the bell ringing they have on scythe at station 5 and the brand new facility they have which was a ribbon cutting for yesterday for the new building they have with 9/11 memorial inside as well. god bless our first responders, our firefighters, and good job city of chico for making 9/11 on the 15th anniversary a good public event. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests.
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the clerk: of kentucky for today and for tomorrow. ms. jackson lee of texas for today. mr. poe of texas for today. and mr. ross of florida for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the requests are granted. the clerk: the honorable, the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to section 214-a of the help america vote act of 2002, 52 u.s.c. 20944, i hereby appoint dr. philip b. stark of berkley, california, to the u.s. election assistance commission board of advisors. thank you for your attention to this appointment. signed, sincerely, nancy pelosi, democratic leader. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of
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representatives, sir, pursuant to section 803-a of the congressional recognition for excellence in arts education act 2 u.s.c. 803-a, i'm pleased to appoint mr. steven l. roberts of st. louis, missouri, to the congressional award board. thank you for your attention to this appointment. signed, sincerely, nancy pelosi, democratic leader. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced spoil of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from iowa, mr. king rks is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my privilege to be recognized to address you on the floor of the house of representatives here on this evening as we move toward a september session that perhaps gets concluded in a way that we go back to the november elections and hopefully we're bridged over any big decisions that might come in a lame duck
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session. it is something that i wanted to address to you, mr. speaker, as the circumstances of lame duck sessions and i look back on the history of them and it's hard for me to find happy conclusions drawn in lame duck sessions. thomas jefferson once made the statement that large initiatives should not be advanced on slender majorities. and what he meant by that was, if you have a large initiative and it's going to move this country and stress a lot of people in this country, then if you move that large initiative and its margins are essentially close to a jump ball, you're going to have almost half the people that are unhappy, maybe even more than half the people who are unhappy so that large initiative should not be advanced on a slender majority because you get so much pushback you don't have public buy-. in you need the public to embrace it. hopefully we get to a supermajority on large
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initiatives because then we go forward in lock step defending and promoting those decisions that we made by this country. worse than advancing a large decision on a slender majority is pushing large decisions in lame duck sessions. because the reality of it is, however long and nobly members of the house and members of the senate have served, however long the obodyably the -- nobly president and members have served, for them to come back here after the election and push large initiatives in a lame duck session, they're not held accountable for it any longer. the people that are retire, those that we voted out of office and a president who is term limited, all together packaging things up and shoving them at us and the american people, sometime after november and before christmas, where we have cliff hangers that go on until christmas eve. i remember christmas eve in about 2009. in fact, it was 2009.
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and obamacare legislation was hanging in the balance over in the united states senate. and there, i recall my communications with the gentleman who -- the esteemed gentleman who is now chairman of the senate judiciary committee and procedurally you're down to the last piece here. this is the eve of christmas eve day. december 23. and i sent an email over which often, almost immediately responded to by my senior senator and i said, procedurally, you're going to hold up obamacare until 9:00 tomorrow night on christmas eve but it looks like the question is, will the obamacare legislation be brought before the senate before earlier in the morning on the 24th so that everyone can catch their plane and fly back home? and fly back home and get home in time for christmas? the price for this, sacrificing
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god-given american liberty to move a leftist agenda, mr. speaker, was what was going on over in the senate. and they brought this leverage right up until christmas eve day. but the deal was that they could, they had a couple of appointments, judicial appointments that they wanted to get a vote on as i understood. that could come along in january as a promise if they allowed the obamacare legislation to be 24, on on december christmas eve day. that agreement was reached in the senate conference in some negotiated fashion or another and the last delay that was hanging on to god-given american liberty in the face of obamacare's hook, crook, and legislative shenanigans which they used to pass that through this house and senate, in components, by the way, the last one was removed and they aloud that vote earlier in the day so senators could fly home and be home with their family.
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i said if you're going to take away god-given american liberty, make them pay that price. hold that vote up until 9:00 on christmas eve. let them stay in washington, d.c. on christmas eve. if they love their socialized medicine that much, let them pay the price of being away from their family to impose that on the american people. but that wasn't the agreement. so i sent the email back which said, what are we going to do now? the answer i received was, we're going to pray, we're going to pray for a legislative victory in the special election in the senate race in massachusetts, scott brown. i thought that was a bit of a reach to have the audacity to ask for that. beended up with that. scott brown far while did delay he socialized medicine program and george washington couldn't have called the affordable care act because george washington
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tell a lie. probably the worst example of a lame duck session we have seen. at least it was a december session rather than a lame duck session, because it wasn't in an election year. now we're sitting in an election year. we'll elect a new president. by the time the sun comes up on the morning of november 9, odds are we will know clearly who the next president of the united states is going to be. probably have a better -- a good idea that evening before we go to bed. maybe the polls will give us a strong indication going into that day and the exit polls that take place during the day will be released as the polls close and give us a sense of how it breaks across the country. it's an exciting time. but whether the president, the next president of the united states is going to be hillary clinton or whether it's going to be donald trump, is a question that no one at this point knows. and for this congress to make conclusive -- to take conclusive acts predicated upon a
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presumption of one or the other or acting as if they don't have any consideration for who will be the next president and asking that those decisions be made, supported, ratified by people who are going home, retired, by their own choice, retired by the voters, or retired in the case of barack obama by term limit. so what good could possibly happen in a lame duck session? a large decision -- large decisions that are made that might bring forward, i'm not going to go down through the list, because if i do that, that will add to the level of expectation of what might come. but it's wrong for this congress to make large decisions on -- especially on slender majorities, and it's wrong for this congress to make decisions that are predicated and -- by a presumption of who will be the next president of the united states and it's really wrong to come into this congress and make big decisions in here while people are on the way out the
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door. while deciding votes are on the way out the door to go home for their retirement, whether it's by choice, whether it's by the voters, or whether it's by a constitutional term limit. whatever the case may be. that lame duck session should be used only to do that which couldn't be accomplished before the election and that which must be done before the new congress is sworn in in the first week in january, 2017. we've got that period of time, we can prepare for that but it looks to me like there's some people in this congress that are salivating over the idea of being able to exercise more leverage by moving an agenda through in a lame duck session that will be at the disadvantage of the will of the voters. if you can't put that up here on the floor for a vote in the house of representatives now, between now and november if you can't sell it to the american peel, democrats and republicans if you can't get the support of one of the likely next presidents of the united states, then who are we to impose it on the american people now and by
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the way who is the president, the current president, barack obama, to be negotiating and leveraging and reaching legislative agreements with the house and the senate today on legislation that would not be signed by the next president and legislation that can't be subjected to the light of day. prior to the election. lame duck sessions, that move large initiatives are wrong. lame duck sessions that take care of emergency issues are ok. and the public will know the difference between the two. this is just a component of the discussions that we will have the rest of this month of september, mr. speaker. and hopefully that the american people will have up until november 8 and beyond. i want the american people to be well inform. we owe the american people, every one of us, all 435 of us here in the house of representatives, every one around this chamber here tonight and everyone who is watching over on c-span, mr. speaker, we
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owe the american people our best efforts and our best judgment and that judgment should not be something that can't be subjected to their the american people need to agree with the judgment of the united states congress. and so, i look at the issues and thatunfolding here we'll be taking up perhaps in the month of september, but also issues that have been seminal issues throughout the obama presidency and all the time i've been in this congress. i'm seing the pressure come forward on some -- to make a decision on a continuing resolution. we have to make a decision on a continuing resolution. a c.r., as we refer to it here. i'd like to have seen this congress go through regular order. i'd have been very happy to go back to the times that i remember when we had 12 appropriations bills, perhaps a supplemental appropriations bill, maybe 13 at the most and we would see that our appropriations subcommittees would do their work and the
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appropriations committee would do its work and then the appropriations bill would come to the floor and they would come to the floor within the budget committee's resolution and the house's vote on a full resolution of budget and so once that budget comes down, the appropriations committees go to work and they look and see what their allocation is allowed under the budget, the budget resolution and they move the appropriations bills within that. and then the appropriations bills, mr. speaker, come to this froor under an open rule. under an open rule, i don't care if it takes all night for us to debate appropriations bills. if you don't care enough to stay up all night to offer your amendment, then don't offer your amendment. let somebody that cares more do that and have that floor. but democrats and republicans should be allowed to and have the opportunity to weigh in on every spending bill that we have. and sometimes, through the appropriations process, is the only way that we end up with an open rule that allows a member to bring the will of their
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constituents to the floor of the house of representatives. otherwise the rule committees constrains that on policy bill after policy bill, standing bill after standing bill. and the appropriations process is our opportunity to reflect the voice and the will of the american people. when that is subverted, when that's circumvented, when we get to a place where we don't have the regular appropriations process that's going on, then we end up with leadership negotiating and continuing resolution or an omnibus spending bill or a minibus spending bill that's packaged up in a room somewhere, not out in the open, but it doesn't have the opportunity to be amended in the process by the will of the membership. and the more that process is narrowed down, when a member of congress is required to go up to the rules committee and subject themselves to what can be a lesson -- less than complimentary scenario of pleading with the rules
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committee for them to allow to you amend a spending bill up or down, or strike a spending line in there, or eliminate some policy, all within the rules that are there, why does a member of the united states congress, who has -- whose constituents deserve every bit as much representation as the constituents of the leadership or the constituents of the members of the rules committee, democrat and republican, why does that member of congress have to go up and make that request to have an opportunity to make their argument to ask this floor to vote on an issue that funds or defunds policy? when we get to that point, the voice of the people, mr. speaker, are muted and the will of the people then, when it's muted, the will of the people is not carried out. i'm all for open debate here on the floor of the house of representatives. i'm for open debate in committees. i'm -- let's have a verbal downey brook here. overtime, -- over time it sorts
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itself out. the will of the people is designed to bring itself forward here in the united states congress. i would suggest also that from a leadership perspective, anybody that holds the gavel, and whether that's the speaker's gavel, mr. speaker, whether it's a gavel of a committee, a subcommittee, wherever that might be, the job of that leader, chairman usually, is to bring out the will of the group, not to impose their will on the group, but to bring out the will of the group. and so when i see this discussion that comes forward here in this congress, that contemplates the c.r., a continuing resolution of roughly 90 days or so, that funds our federal government out until december 9, like at the calendar, december 9, and i i think, ok, that's just about how long it's going to take for them to bring pressure on people that are reluctant to agree with the c.r. that will come in, because people will want to go home for christmas, just like they did when
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obamacare was passed over in the united states senate. that's what we're looking at. december 99 -- december 9, tight little time there, get done, compromise, go home for christmas. that's what that says to me. i'd say instead, i'm all right with the c.r. i'm all right with the continuing resolution. no, i don't want to fund any of the president's unconstitutional executive amnesty acts and i don't want to fund planned parenthood or a number of things i don't want to fund, but as far as the decision to move the funding of this federal government from midnight, december 30, to a date in the future, i would suggest that that date be january 31, probably not any letter than february 28 -- later than february 28. because we need to get that bridge, that funding over into the next congress, or the next president, whomever that might be. it's time to do this transition and move this government to the next congress, to the next --
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hopefully it's the same majority, may not be in the house, hopefully there -- hopefully it's the same majority in the united states senate, may not be in the senate. to the next president, will be a different president, the will of the next president does impose itself upon the will of this congress. we've been very much subjected to that over the last almost eight years, mr. speaker. it's been an object of clarity, that when the house majority has decided not to fund -- let's say at least one of the president's projects, and the president has said, i will shut this government down first, before i will be denied the funding for my pet projects, and in the end, the majority in the house of representatives capitulated to the will of the president. we have that to contemplate, going forward into the next presidency. we've watched as the power of the house of representatives has h.s.a. been diminished -- has been diminished, the power of the senate has been diminished, and i'd say significantly and dramatically. it didn't just happen under
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this presidency. it began in a significant way back in the 1930's. i don't know the exact year that the administrative procedures act was signed, but that would be probably a pivotal moment that one could point to on the calendar and conclude that the balance of the three branches of government that we had, that was designed by our founding fathers, i'd submit that the judiciary branch was always designed to be the weakest of the three branches of government, but our founding fathers envisioned that those three branches of government, thinking of it in a triangle, mr. speaker, the legislative branch, article 1, executive branch, article 2, and then the judicial branch, article 3 of our constitution, they set them up to be a balance of powers. a triangular balance of powers. and even though it's often taught that it's three equal branches of government, i'd argue that the legislative branch comes first. that's article 1. because we are the voice of the people. and the house of
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representatives comes ahead of the senate when it comes to spending. by design, by constitution, because our founding fathers wanted to give the control of the power of the purse into the hands of the the people as closely as they could -- of the people as closely as they could possibly get it. that's why we people in the the house are up for election or re-election every two years and why the senate is up for election or re-election every six years. they wanted the senate to be ins lated from the high -- insulated from the highs and lows of public opinion. they wanted the house of representative to be reactive and responsive to the highs and lows of public opinion. and they wanted that power of the purse to be in the hands of the house so that we start the spending bills and by extension d by interpretation and by precedent the house starts the spending and the house takes care of initiating any taxes as well. the senate then can react to those things are thank are advanced by the house -- of those things that are advanced by the house.
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if there's a single spending bill over in the senate, right now they have expanded an authority historically, to be able to simply add anything spending to that spending bill they would like. and we are poised here in the house wondering, are they going to send us a bill that's this continuing resolution that fit their wants, their wishes and their will, which could be a december 9, the c.r. until december 9, that funds planned parenthood and obamacare and the president's executive amnesty? all of that could come at us, mr. speaker, and this balance of powers that's here, though, was expected that our founding fathers, if they believe that the people elected to serve in the congress, the house and the senate, and they believe that the president of the united states would all jealously protect the constitutional authority that's granted to them within the constitution, and they knew that no matter how good of wordsmiths they
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were, it was impossible to define the distinctions, the bright lines, between the three branches of government in such a way that there'd never be an argument. because after all, words themselves get into a debate on what the definitions of those words mean. so our founding fathers precisely drew the difference, as much as they could, within the language that they had. and the data at the time and the federalist papers at the time and the decisions that were made and the congressional record that was debated along the way and of all of the debates that had to do with the constitutional congress -- that had to do with the constitutional convention helped flesh out the meaning and understanding of this great and wonderful constitution that we have. but they also knew that no matter how precisely they flushed it out, that there would be disagreements and they expected that each branch of government would jealously protect the power and authority granted to them within the constitution. this house of representatives and the senate included has not done a very good job of
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protecting and defending the authority and the power granted to it in the constitution. article 1 authority says all legislation shall be conducted in the united states congress, all legislation, mr. speaker. and yet we have a president who has legislated from the oval office. he's legislated by speaking words into law. he's legislated by a third tier website on the u.s. treasury that essentially amended the effectiveness of obamacare. that congress didn't step up in the way of that and take on that fight and challenge the president and ball up this government to the point where the president had to give in to the words in the constitution, the meaning of the constitution, they intended the constitution and concede that the power and the authority and the house of representatives in particular, but in the legislative branch, would assert itself over the executive branch. didn't happen because of a lack of will at the house of representatives to better
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define the legislative authority that we have. that began, as i mentioned, with the administrative procedures act, which granted rulemaking authority to the executive branch of government. and so the rules, rules that once they meet the criteria that are defined within the administrative procedures act, publish it, open it up for public comment, go through those conditions, have had rules proposed, reach those conditions, then that rule is then enacted, implemented, and it has the force and effect of law as if it were law. today it's a lot easier to publish a rule and have that rule take effect and be and then provide the force and effective law than it is for congress to actually pass a law , so if the president decides that he wants to see, let's say environmental regulations, let's say the wrda piece, the waters of the united states
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regulations, that give the e.p.a. and the corps of engineers the equivalent of legislative authority to regulate all of the waters of the united states through some ambiguous language that they had writ noon a rule -- written into a rule, and it is so bad that it says, these waters, the old language was back from the 1990's was, these protected streams and -- as geographically defined, and water hydrologically connected to them shall be protect d streams. when i go to them and -- protected streams. when i go to them and ask them, what does hydrologically connected to mean, and their answer is, well, we don't know. and i say, then take it out of the language. well, we can't do that. how can you know you can't take it out of the language if you don't know what it means? well, we know that we can't change the -- or amend the language. that's what we're publishing here, that's what's open for public comment. so you're either going to have to live with it or oppose it successfully, which is it going to be?
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try opposing a rule successfully. try convincing the e.p.a. that there's enough public comment and criticism so they ought to change that language, when they're not accountable to the people. the e.p.a., the corps of engineers, any one of the dozens of agencies that are out there, their bureaucratics aren't up for election or re-election like members of congress are. only their president. their president hat h.s.a. given them orders -- has given them orders or at least a philosophical guideline that they are following, and so we end up with waters of the united states that -- now language that says, the navigable waters of the united states and any waters that are a significant nexus to the navigable waters of the united states. think of that. the ambiguous language of waters hydrologically connected to was litigated down to the point where the courts finally ruled that it doesn't have an effectiveness, because it's too ambiguous.
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and so they cooked up some other ambiguous language to litigate for another couple of decades. this ambiguous language of significant nexus to the navigable waters of the united states. significant nexus. all right. what is a nexus? well, that's anything that intersects. is it one intersection, two, three, 10, is it 50, is it 100? if you could go to new orleans and track the mississippi river up to the head waters, how many significant nexus do you have or tributaries that run into the mississippi? how many of those tributaries can be traced up to creeks and streams and tile lines and wells and water lines that go up to the kitchen sink? they have defined ambiguous language that allows them to regulate the entire united states of america, all of the way to the kitchen sink, under requiring a significant nexus with the navigable waters of the united states. we'll sit here and take this and they can write rules like this that have the force and
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effect of law and put a chilling paul on the economy of the united states of america. that's what we're faced with, mr. speaker, and the legislative power that has been asserted -- and to a large degree successfully asserted by the executive branch of government, reaches in to the article 1 authority of the united states congress. what are we to do about it here? we're to jealously protect this power. our founding fathers charged us with that. how do we jealously protect that power? we have only two things we can do. impeachment, which nobody wants to do, including me. the second component of that is the power of the purse. the power of the purse that james madison spoke about and wrote about eloquently, and it is a powerful, powerful tool. this congress has declined to use the tool of the power of the purse with the exception of what turned into the shutdown of our federal government in the first day of october, 2013. because they don't want to face the criticism that might come
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from the public, the american people. tremendous amount of authority that needs to be clawed back to this congress, mr. speaker. tremendous amount of constitutional authority that needs to be clawed back and when i see a c.r. being prepared that looks like it's going to reflect some of the continuing resolution from last year, i see a continuing resolution that may be coming to expand, for example, immigration standards within the united states of america, under the guise of, well, we're just going to kick the can down the road and do some spending that's going to get us into december 9 or on into hopefully february 28 or maybe a little later and someone will go out until september 30rks i think that's too far, i don't think we ought to give a blank check to the next president of the united states, we don't know who that's going to be, even if we know who that's going to be, we ought to be instead establishing a scenario by which the new congress, house and senate, can pass appropriations bills to get to
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the end of this fiscal year and get a signature of the next president of the united states, not this one. i don't want to give this president of the united states a blank check on anything anymore but when barack obama said 22 times, not just 22 times in interview, 22 times overheard or 2 times reported, 22 tinals videotape that he did not have the legislative authority to grant executive amnesty to illegal aliens in the united states of america, 22 times, and the most recent time he did that was just about 10 days before he changed his mind. and he was here in washington, d.c., giving a speech to a high school here in washington, d.c. and he said to them, you're smart students and i know you've been studying your constitution. and you'll know this, that i don't have the authority to grant executive -- he didn't use the words, but executive amnesty. he said, i'm the president of the united states.
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congress writes the laws. my job as president is to enforce the laws, and the job of the judiciary is to interpret the laws. i don't think you could put it more concisely than that in a matter of two or three sentences. i think the president did a good job of describing that to the -- describing that to the students there, but within about 10 days he decided that he would reverse all of that and all of a sudden he had the power to grant an executive amnesty, an unconstitutional executive amnesty, mr. speaker. i see that the gentleman, dr. burgess, from the rules committee has arrived and hence i've been so busily complimenting the rules -- since i've been so busily complimenting the rules committee, i'd be happy to yield. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. burgess: i send to the desk two privileged report prs from the committee on rules for filing under the rules. the speaker pro tempore: the
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clerk will report the titles. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 858, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 3190 to amend the internal revenue code to change the threshold used for determining medical care. report to accompany house resolution 859, resolution providing for coffings the bill h.r. 5620 to amend title 38, united states code to provide r removal or demotion of flofse department of veterans affairs for misconduct or other behavior. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate being rerecognized, i appreciate the rule committees in a lot of ways and the gentleman from texas in particular. in transition from this report from the rules committee, i continue down this path of
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president obama's executive amnesty where he unconstitutionally granted an executive amnesty to people whom at least assert that they have come into the united states under the age of 18 and no longer are -- apparently if you're under 18, you're not responsible for your actions even though that's not true among the states. even in the case of homicide. nd so the excuse that it was somebody else's fault, that their parents or somebody's else fault, didn't hold up even under law, we write the laws here in congress. but the president granted amnesty. daca. deferred action for childhood arrivals. you're a child until you're 18, we'll take your word for it even if you're 35 today. then there was dapa, deferred action for parents of americans.
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that was another unconstitutional reach. these things have, at least the one, has been effectively henin in the ge texas district and now the president has been blocked, i think effectively, until the end of his term on continuing this amnesty process, executive amnesty. but meanwhile, the daca executive amnesty continues. we've seen evidence there's been circumstance um vention of the court's order with regard to the dapa amnesty piece. while we're watching this unfold, we are a congress that has allowed for funding to continue for the unconstitutional acts of executive amnesty on the part of the president of the united states. i recall a discussion before the rules committee, before a previous appropriations bill, when i made the assertion, mr. speaker, that we all take an
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oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states. every one of us in here, all 435 of us. and every senator, the 100 senators on the other end of the capitol through the rotunda, all take that same oath that we will support and defend the constitution of the united states, help us god. and we should take that oath seriously. our founding fathers imagined that we would always be electing serious representatives who when they took that oath would take the oath with their hand on the bible and would know they had to answer to their contemporary, their colleagues, their constituent the american people, and ultimately to god for that oath. the constitution means what it says. it has to be interpreted to mean what it was understood to mean at the time of the ratification of the constitution of the subsequent amendment. and our oath needs to be an oath of fidelity to the text and
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understanding of that constitution and if it doesn't mean that, then our oath means nothing at all. can you imagine, mr. speaker, taking an oath that i pledge to support and defend the constitution of the united states whatsoever i might interpret it to mean at any convenient point in the future? no. and the oath is not to support and defend tee constitution in any it might be subverted or perverted by any other authority. no. we are taking an oath to support and defend the constitution according to the text of its clear meaning and understanding as understood at the time of ratification and if we don't like what that constitution means, mr. speaker, then we have an opportunity to amend the constitution. it's simply defined and difficult to do for good reason. simply defined, 2/3 in the -- 2/3 majority in the house and senate to pass a constitutional
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amendment out of here. the president has no formal say in the process though he'll have an opinion. then that constitutional amendment goes out to the several states as it was referred to in the constitution. there, three quarters of the states ratify that constitutional amendment, it becomes a component of the constitution. our founding fathers gave us the tools to amend the constitution because they knew they couldn't see into the crystal ball and by the centuries and they wanted it to be difficult because they wanted to protect the rights of minorities against the tyranny of the majority and they wanted to protect god-given liberties. they had a vision, they were well educated. they had a sound -- they had a sound, faithful foundation within them and they laid out a brilliant document that would only maybe be second to the declaration itself when it comes to the brilliance of documents at least written by americans,
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perhaps by mortals altogether. we are an exceptional nation. god has given us this liberty. we have an only fwation to protect it, an obligation to restore the separation of powers. an obligation to assert the constitutional authority here and say to a president that overreaches, sorry, we're not going to offend -- i'm sor i, -- i'm sorry, we are not going to fund your unconstitutional activities. we are going to stand on the principle itself of the constitution, whether or not we ree with the policy, we need to have fidelity to the constitution. we don't get a pass because the supreme court errs in its interpretation of the constitution. we don't get a pass because the president says that he has a different opinion. we don't get a pass, no matter which side of this aisle we're on, on the right or on the left. we have an obligation to god and country and a fidelity to this constitution. and now -- so this expansive
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immigration policy that's been delivered by the president has set a goal of 10,000 refugees coming out of syria. and at this point, i will concede that he has -- he has the executive authority as granted by congress to bring in refugees in numbers, under consultation with the house and senate. i've sat in on some of those consultations in previous years and in fact, with hillary clinton for that matter and we have arrived at, i'll say a reasonable approach to the numbers of refugees. but this president had set a goal that he was going to bring in at least 10,000 refugees out of the syria and iraq region. and when i look at the numbers and the cost that we have if we want to provide relief to people, we can provide refugee relief to a dozen people in their home country, iraq or
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syria in these circumstances, for every one we bring in to america. when you clean that area out, when you bring people out of that area, you're handing it over to isis. that's part of what the president has been doing. he's been bringing people out of there, he's been handing that region, the real estate, over to isis. they're glad to get rid of them. they killed thousands of people who didn't agree with them. there are those on the run from isis and isis has been committing a genocide against christians and against yazidis in the middle east, when i see the devastation that's taken place, i've gone into those regions and gotten as close to the isis front lines as possible, just outside their artillery range, i went looking for christian refugee camps. i couldn't find christian refugee camps in that part of the world. into the edges of syria, into northern iraq, into the kurdish
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region , in turkey for that matter. the place to find christians in that part of the world was in church. i met with the bishop in the northern part of iraq. in my last trip in i went into the catholic church, the roman catholic church in us tan ball and i met with a good number of christians there and then went down into ervil the following morning, there was a friday night mass and then a sunday mass, i sat down with a family a refugee family out of the syrian region, meat with the chatldean bishop there the syrian christians are under attack. there's a heavy assault of genocide against them. chaldean christians the same way. they're subject to genocidal attack from isis. and their home region is the nineveh plains region.
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it runs along, i'll say, parallel or next to mosul in iraq in that area and in my discussions with the barzonis who are potentially in charge of the semiautonomous region, the kurdish region of northern iraq, i pressed them that we need to establish an international safe zone for christians and for the yazitis that are nate i minorities so they can live there, live in peace. i made that case rather extensively to him. he repeated it back to me, probably two or three times greater in detail and in conviction than i had delivered toyota him. i said to him, mr. barzani, you sound like you've said this before. his answer was, i have said it before. that's my public opinion. we will support an international safe zone in the nineveh plains region.
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we'll support it, help defend it, we are committed to it. that is my public position. i was awfully glad to hear that. it's a lot better solution for refugees to give them protection in their home reand protect them from the -- from the genocidal isis people than it is to try to bring them out of the middle east and bring them into the united states or other places in the world, for that matter. but we do have refugees that are looking for a place to call home around this world. and so i stopped in in geneva a couple of months ago, mr. speaker. there by the way with chairman good lat of the judiciary committee and met with the number two on the u.n. high commission on refugees and in that meeting, in that discussion, i learned a few things. i thought that it was a good meeting. it was a very constructive meeting with a lot of information that poured back and
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forth. i have this report that i probably will not put into the record but global trends and forced displacement in 2015 which flows across over into 2016, mr. speaker. close, but some not exactly precise on this top number, 1,562 refugees out of the syrian-iraq region that have come into the united states and out of that number, i can give you the exact number of christians included, only one. we have seen several thousand where there was a little more than 1% christians that come out of that part of the world as far as refugees are concerned. and so why is it that this administration can bring in more than 10,000 refugees out of that
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part of the world, now approaching 12,000 will be the number or even greater than that in the end of this fiscal year. the end of this month, do not have any statistical representation of christians that are emerging from that part of the world. i asked our director under oath before the judiciary committee, do you ask these refugees that you claim you are venting and i don't believe can be effectively vetted, do you ask them what their religion is? he said no, we don't ask them. and that's not a statistic that we collect or keep. well, seems to me to be foolish and imprudent not to be taking a look at the religion of people. we would want to be accelerating christians if we are going to be bringing refugees. they are the ones that are
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targeted and genocide. i would like to carve out that international safe zone and let them live in peace. f that's not going to be the case, why would we be then seeing a misrepresentative sample coming case, why into america unless there is a bias coming into america. 3,600. of and when i began to ask the representative of the u.n. high commission on refugees in geneva, who gave a very impressive presentation, i would add. when i asked those questions, how many refugees do you have cleared to come out of the middle east that could be going to any of the designated countries that are accepting them. germany, austria, sweden and
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france are picking up refugees. i walked with them pouring in that epic migration. those that have been cleared by the u.n. high commission of refugees, how many do you have? their answer was, well, we have 115,000 who have been cleared under a refugee status that have roughly a background check, a background check done on that and are ready to be transported to host countries. 115,000. i said, do you keep track of what religion? yes. how many christians, 15,000 christians. i didn't do the math, but that's 12% or 13%. 12% or 13% that are approved by the united nations are christians and 1% or maybe even 1 out of 1,562 are christians
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coming into america does that mean this administration set up a filter to filter them out and only made mistakes? and i would support instead an effort if we are going to accept refugees from that part of the world let's make sure they are subjected to a religious genocide and they are more likely to be assimilated into america judging by the responses i have heard from them. and i look at some of the results of this report that i referenced, mr. speaker, and i was surprised not quite shocked, to see the number of refugees per 1,000 inhabit tants. and i want to tip my hat to the countries that have taken on a high number of refugees that is a high percentage of the overall percentage. and lebanon is at the top. every 1,000 inhabit tants of
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lebanon, 183 are refugees. hey have been stretched to the seams. jordan, and turkey, chad, gentleman beauty, 22, on down the line. malta. that is a high number for a small island and all of the countries in europe or the united states for that matter, sweden, 17 per 1,000. that's the highest rate out of europe or the western hemisphere. so the swedes continue to take a lot of refugees in. and we have a national destiny and national security to be concerned about. and we know, we know that it's a very difficult task to vet refugees. i'm supportive of an effort to
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suspend refugees coming out of that part of the world that produces terrorists until such time as we can get a handle on the vetting of them, on the background checks and many times when they leave their home country and enter a foreign country, they will destroy identifying documents they have so they won't be sent back. this is a big problem for europe. we watched as the attacks on country after country and it's a big problem for the united states. we are challenged with this vetting process that cannot possibly uncover those who will turn to violence. we can look at polling that shows what percentage of people from terrorist-producing countries that settle in the united states are supportive of shari'a law or supportive of iolence to promote shari'a law
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and at least supportive of organizations, including and like isis. those numbers are shocking. they are far too high, which cause our director of the f.b.i., james comey, to make the remark when asked who is responsible for the vetting of the refugees, he said you are asking us to identify the needles in the haystack. and that's a very difficult task. but if we could get that done, the far more difficult task is to identify the hay that will become needles and we have seen that pop up second generation, immigrants from that part of the world that adhere to the philosophy that believe they can impose shari'a law through violence and f.b.i. director said you are asking us to sort
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needles from a haystack and sort out the hay that will become needles in the hey e hay. it is a difficult task. we don't recognize as a war that has gone on for 1,400 years, but i do. i see legislation that is coming h-2-b legislation. that's the lowest skilled workers. the highest unemployment rates are in the lowest skilled workers that we have. double digit unemployment and the lowest skilled workers we have in this country, the last thing we need in america are more people that have less skills. but that is what is pouring across our borders and illegal immigration and we are sitting
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here and we are essentially a welfare state. 96.4 million americans who are not in the work force and another nine million. so 103 million americans of working age who are not in the work force. and yet we are watching the entitlements grow and grow and grow and swallow up our budget. medicare, medicaid and social security, all of them are on auto pilot on spending. and what are we doing? we borrow the money from the chinese and the saudis. and this money, half of that is orrowed from borrowed from the american people who bought the bonds who decided to invest in america's future. well, it may be. because we are under low interest rates. if interest rates should double or triple and could easily do
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and would not be in historic places, we would watch a collapse on our cash flow and collapse in our budget. and yet, this nation has got its borders open and this nation is bringing in more and more illegal immigrants and not protecting its borders from illegal immigration. they have turned the border patrol into the welcome wagon. is our leadership going to expand h-2-b's? i oppose that. we can't be expanding that. we don't know who the next president is going to be, if it's donald trump, he isn't oing to be for this. h-1-b's are being abused and being abused grossly and seeing examples of hundreds of employees who are being laid off that are charged with the
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responsibility of training their foreign immigrant replacement that is coming in on an h- 16r7b-b because they can hire cheap labor like india and lay after the ricans americans train workers. this is the kind of country we are building. we are ending up with after the people with 104 million people who are not in the work force. while all that is going on, requiring people, companies like maybe disney, for example, to those employees on the way out the door, we are laying you off, you want to train your employee. the program is being abused. e h-b-2 is bringing in a surplus of unskilled workers.
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and it's laying off american workers and green-card holders that are gog jobs that americans will do. they are doing jobs. being required to train their replacements. i think it's wrong. i think it's a wrime for a company to require an employee to train their replacement worker that is bringing in unskilled workers to establish a need that presumably exists in our economy. how could there be any need when you have over 100 million people that are of working and not in the work force. and ei-5 program that was set up a quarter of a century ago and said if you got $1 million and create 10 jobs and invest in
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creating this enterprise in america, we'll give you a pass coming into the united states. so a quarter of a century ago, million dollars was real money. but today, not so much as it was then. if you are going into an economically distressed area, you can get by by half a million. chinese, each with half a million dollars that bupped will that money together and team up with one american and have a business enterprise and we have 29 new americans, rich chinese that are buying a path to citizenship here. and once they do that, they can begin that family reunification plan and bring their family back into the united states, too.
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i'm seeing enterprises where an investment in, let's say, a commercial building takes a pool of $30 million investment and takes a pool of 60 chinese with half a million dollars each to build this commercial building and they become partners in that. and they have a path in the united states. we are selling citizenship. on top of that, we have tourism. these tourism numbers would be three, four, five years old and i'm focused on the chinese at this point. if you have $30,000 and you are a pregnant chinese woman, you can fly to california, the most likely, and be put up there in housing and have your baby and gets a birth certificate and fly back to china and when it turns 18, can be hauled into america. a $30,000 turnkey but you have
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to wait for 18 years. if you can't wait and you got the money, you can lay $500,000 down on the barrel head, cash on the barrel head and get a path into america, a green card and sitsonship. these programs are just won. the e-b-5 program should be ended and should be sunset. if we have to make concessions on h-2-b. we should not make decisions in a c.r. without making them in a treaty or a lame duck. immigration decisions should be made the subject to the pen, the signature of the next president of the united states. and they need to have the considered judgment of the house of representatives and of the senate, mr. speaker.
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i would promote that a continuing resolution kick us into the early part of next year when we have a new congress seated, when we have a new president inaugurated and sworn into office and that the will of the american people could be reflected in the large initiatives that would be advanced by the house of representatives, by the united states senate, and by the next president that should reflect the will of the people. all of this, mr. speaker, is our charge and our responsibility because we have taken an oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states of america. it is our duty and we owe the people in this country our best effort and our best judgment and our best effort and best judgment includes, we listen to them, we gather all the information that we can, we look into the crystal ball of the future as far as we can, and with good and clear conscience and good judgment make those decisions that reflect their
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will, that are within the confines of the constitution, that fit within free enterprise that lay down a foundation for america's destiny, so that we can be ever stronger in the ture and that we can have an ascending destiny rather than a descending destiny. with all that, mr. speaker, i yield back and thank you for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. jeffries: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material on the subject of the special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. jeffries: thank you. it is with great honor that i rise today once again to help co-anchor, along with my distinguished colleague representative joyce beatty,
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congressional black caucus special order hour, where for the next 60 minutes we have an opportunity to speak directly to the american people on issues of great importance to the congressional black caucus, to the house of representatives, to the districts that we represent collectively as well as to the united states of america. today is a very special week for us and we're going to spend some time during the next 60 minutes discussing the trajectory of the ongressional black caucus. which has been serving in this body for the better part of the last 45 years. the congressional black caucus on formally established march 30, 1971. by 13 pioneering members who had a vision of making sure that
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within this great article 1 institution there was a body that could speak directly to the hope the dreams, the needs and the aspirations of the african-american people and all those underrepresented communities throughout america. we're going to talk a bit about that journey, about the accomplishments, and about the challenges that still remain. but i want to yield now to one of the very distinguished members of the congressional black caucus who happens to be the ranking member of the science, space, and technology committee and has ably represented the 30th congressional district in texas, anchored in dallas, for almost 25 years, and it's been an honor and privilege for me and others to work with her, to learn from her, to be mentored by her.
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i now yield to the honorable eddie bernice johnson. ms. johnson: thank you very much. mr. speaker, i'd like to congratulate the leaders of the special order tonight, congresswoman joist beatty and congressman hakeem jeffries. mr. speaker, as a proud member of the congressional black caucus, i'm pleased to recognize the contributions of the c.b.c. and its members after 45 years of service to the united states congress and our nation. and really the world. the c.b.c. was founded march 30 -- march 3, 1971, with the chief objective to bring awareness to the issues facing black america and address the concerns of long-standing inequality and opportunity for african-americans. we have an original member
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retiring this year, the honorable charles b. rangel. the most senior member in this house is one of the original members. the honorable john conyers. today the congressional black caucus has grown to become a fundamental institution within congress. from voting rights and gun violence to poverty in america and justice reform, the c.b.c. engages on multiple fronts to issues facing our nation and the world. today we've had a string of able leaders who chair the c.b.c. and i am proud to have been one of them in 2001 to 2003. currently as co-chair of the c.b.c. technology and infrastructure development task force and a member of numerous other c.b.c. task forces, i am
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proud of the progress we have been able to achieve through our coordination and -- in cooperation with members of the congress, stake holders and the community. history has proven that the importance of the c.b.c. endures even today as we face new challenges to voting rights and experience new strife within our community. mr. speaker, the congressional black caucus serves as a key voice in congress for people of color and vulnerable communities . together the c.b.c. has paved the way for new progress as we face the challenges of the 21st century. i promise that -- a promise that was made in 1971 to be a voice to the voiceless is continually fulfilled through the c.b.c.'s work and i look forward to keeping up with our fight to preserve liberty and equal justice for all. we have come from promise to
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progress. i thank you and yield back. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished gentlelady from the lone star state for her eloquent words and observations and of course for your leadership, not just in the congress but for your past leadership as a distinguished former chair of the congressional black caucus. it is now my honor and privilege oneield to my classmate and of the most distinguished members of the united states house of representatives, had an incredible career before she arrived here a successful small business woman, as a university administrator at the ohio state university, and in so many other ways and then of course has taken the house of representatives by storm since her arrival as part of the class of 2012. let me now yield to my colleague, the distinguished gentlelady if the great state of
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ohio, representative joyce beatty. mrs. beatty: thank you so much to my colleague, mr. speaker. i am so honored to be here tonight speaking in this chamber and to the american people. about the congressional black caucus. from rs of leadership promise to progress. you've heard my distinguished colleague and co-anchor of our special order hour, congressman hakem jeffries, tell and share with us the history of our beginning of the congressional black caucus back on march 30, 1971. we've heard the distinguished ladies -- lady from texas share with us about our members who had the foresight and the vision , what she didn't tell you was that she was the first african-american nurse to be elected and to serve in this
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congress. somewhere along the line, mr. speaker, i am sure in our rich history, someone made the promise that in the future we would have a shirley chisholm. the promise that some little girl would be able to come to this congress and serve and that became a reality with shirley chisholm. i am sure some mother said, the promise should be that a woman should lead us as a nurse. and then came congresswoman eddie bernice johnson. you see, mr. speaker, the congressional black caucus has been committed to advancing equity and access in equal protection under the law for black americans. while we were established march 30, 1971, it was on that day that a congressman by the name
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jr., a democrat, presented a statement to the president of the united states which included more than 60 recommendations for executive action facing issues for black america. and set the foundation for the promise and the progress of african-americans. we heard my distinguished colleague talk about the hopes and the needs and the dreams. those were the promises. and that's why it is so important for us to come today and talk about the progress we've made. even though you will hear us say 1971, when the congressional black caucus was established, we can trace our legislative history back further to the
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civil rights efforts of the 1960's. which included such land mark victories as the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965. which we still champion today. those legislative policy victories of the past demonstrate that when people speak with a singular powerful voice, mr. speaker, we can have a government that works for us. we can fulfill our country's pledge and promise of liberty and justice for all. it was through that statement that the congressional black caucus began its history of advocacy on behalf of the african-american community. and since then for the last 45 years the congressional black caucus has been the voice for people of color in at-risk
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communities in our different districts. we have been and remain committed to utilizing the full constitutional power, statutory authority and financial resources of the government to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve the promise of the american dream, mr. speaker. from promise to progress. gave us the first african-american to hold the distinction of dean of this house. the most senior member of congress and the first african-american to swear in the speaker of the united states house of representatives. congressional black caucus member congressman john conyers. from promise to progress has iven us a motivating book, "blessed experiences."
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genuinely southern, proudly black a story of inspirational words on how an african-american boy from the jim crow irrah south was able to beat the odds, mr. speaker, achieve great success and become, as president barack obama described him, one , when dful of people they speak, the entire congress listens. assistant democratic leader and the third highest ranking democrat in the house of representatives, congressman james e. clyburn. the 21st president, national president of the largest african-american female sorority serves here with us. congresswoman marcia fudge from the 11th congressional district of my state. from promise to progress, mr.
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speaker, has given us the first black woman elected to congress from alabama and the only democrat in alabama's seven-member congressional delegation. thule. congresswoman her first piece of legislation recognized the four little girls who tragically lost their lives in the bombing of the 16th street baptist church. mr. speaker, i hope you can see why it's why it is important for us to be here and talk about the many promises and of greater importance, the progress that we have made. we are one of the largest member organizations in the united states house of representatives. making up 23% of the house,
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democratic caucus and 10% of the entire united states house of representatives. mr. speaker, when i think of where the congressional plaque caucus is today, i think of the shoulders that we stand on. 51 years later, i think of bloody sunday, where on march 7, 1965, some 600 peaceful participants in a voting rights march from selma, alabama, to the state capital in montgomery were violently attacked by alabama state troopers with night sticks, dogs, as they attempted to cross the edmund pettus bridge. these brave men and women led by civil rights champion congressman john lewis from the 5th district of georgia, what a
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to t example of promise progress. last year, i had the distinct onor of joining nearly 300,000 others, including 90 bipartisan lawmakers, distinguished guests, civil rights activists, former presidents of these united states, as we marched commemorating the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday over that edmund pettus bridge, marching ourselves from selma to montgomery, alabama. from promises to progress. let me say or remind you again, and i want america to know, 90 bipartisan members, that means democrat and republicans, i could say bicameral, democrat
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and republican senators and members of this great body that we serve in. certainly as we marched and they joined us, they were making a commitment to the progress from those promises that were made 50-some years ago. we come here tonight, my colleague and i representing the congressional black caucus, because we want you, mr. speaker and america to know, that when we reflect on our history, it is our culture, it is our passion, it is our reason and resolve for standing here and standing up for the issues and the legislation that we believe in that we write and we support. we think it's important for you to have a better understanding why we come here and ask that we join together. mr. speaker, when i think of our
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history, i reflect on the names like frederick douglass, a social reformer and statesman, shirley chisholm, the first african-american woman elected to the united states congress and rosa parks, the mother of the modern civil rights movement. you see rosa parks embodies courage and she inspired me as a mentor to me when she refused to give up her seat on a montgomery, alabama bus to a white passenger on december 1, 1955. some would say she was tired, but i would say she was tired not from her day's work as a seam stress but tired of the injustices. i was so inspired by her that i wrote the first legislation when i served in the ohio house of
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representatives in this country to honor her on that december 1 and every day since then, i go back to the district and we honor her, because you see, she sat down against the odds for something she believed in. i have carried that with me over the years, realizing that there could be a day, but never dreaming it would be here in this congress that i, too, would be willing to sit down for something that i believed in. and mr. speaker, there have been so many issues that i have done that, because i want us to have the progress from the promises that i make to my district, the progress, whether it's gun safety, whether it's the progress of making sure that every child has enough food when they go to bed, whether it's making sure that there is an affordable college education for
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every child that's able to go, whether it's making sure that there is equal pay for equal work. those are just a few of the things that i wanted to make sure that we talked about. and mr. speaker, it is so important for us to tell our stories, our history and our culture. hopefully tonight is more than us just talking. hopefully tonight will help members and the public understand our history and our passion. and this week, lastly, let me say how honored i am to be in washington, d.c., when more than 10,000 people will come to our annual congressional black caucus foundation annual legislative conference. but we will talk about the
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issues and we will educate emerging leaders and civil rights leaders, not just all individuals of color. there will be individuals of all backgrounds and race and ethnicities that will join us in our commitment to fulfill those promises on the progress that we would like to have. and we will open the national african-american museum. what an honor it will be to see the great acheefments and contributions for those who have so courageously pushed the boundary and moved our country forward in the name of justice and equality. and when i think about moving forward, i cannot help but reflect on the 44th president of these united states. like many of us and mr. speaker,
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even maybe, like you, he worked his way through school with the help of scholarship money and a student loan. and yet, maybe it was the progress and the promise, progress that martin luther king junior said where he hoped his four children would not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character. and maybe that's why a young withk obama pushed forward that to his community and worked the words and gave service, the words that he likes to use so much. it was the sfings back to the movement and to his community in and that gave us the
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progress of vk our first african-american president, a scholar, someone who has had many firsts. o i say to you, it is in these my honor that i can stand here on this floor with my colleague as we move forward the progress, as we move forward on the promises of our colleagues. thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you, to my colleague. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished gentlelady from ohio laying out the history of the congressional black caucus as well as documenting what the current membership continue to do and breaking new ground here in the house of representatives on behalf of the people that they are charged to represent in this august body as well as on
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behalf of the great nation that we are all privileged to serve. as representative beatty mentioned, there were 13 individuals who had the vision and foresight to found the congressional black caucus in 1971. it took place at a meeting between those 13 members and president richard nixon, where the president was presented by the newly formed congressional black caucus, a statement of requests, objectives and demands related to the plight of african-americans here in these united states of america. the congressional black caucus was founded on the premise that it was necessary to speak truth to power given the unique plight of african-americans in this country. as was mentioned by representative beatty, there are two founding members who still
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serve in the house of representatives. representative john conyers from detroit, michigan and charlie rangel. the first african-american ever to chair the ways and means committee in this institution, a prolific legislator here in the house who announced earlier his intention to retire. i'm proud to serve a district that was once represented in part by the honorable shirley chisholm, the first african-american women elected to the house of representatives in a district from brooklyn in 1968. she came here indicating that she was unbought and unbossed. and that tradition has been continued by people by maxine waters and joyce beatty and so many others who represent their
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district with passion and with integrity. the question has been asked why is there a need for congressional black caucus. come a long way in america and made a lot of progress. the 44th president of the united states of america happens to be african-american. why is there a need for a congressional plaque caucus? that question was asked in 1971. and i think it taste an understanding of the unique journey of african-americans in this country to understand why the congressional black caucus was first founded in 1971 and still remains relevant today. this country was founded on high-minded principles of liberty and justice for all the notion that all men are created
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equally and endowed with certain unjailenable rights and the great democratic republic that was birthed by the founding fathers of this nation, but as many have observed, notwithstanding the tremendous nature of the principles embedded in the birth of this a ntry, there was also genetic defect on the question of race. and that took the form of chattel slavery, one of the worst crimes perpetrated against humanity. the loss of tens ofer individuals killed during the middle passage and system attic oppression of african-americans, the kidnap, rape and enslavement
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here in the united states of america at the same time when the country was founded on these great high-minded principles. and of course, the question of slavery was finally resolved with the victory of the north in 1865. the north, of course, fighting the south and the confederacy and the confederacy has been put to rest, although some people still want to uplift the confederate battle flag. and that's an issue for another day. but slavery was put to rest. and then in an effort to correct the defect in our democracy, 13th amendment ending and out lawing chattel slavery was ratified. equal protection under the law.
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15th amendment related to the right to vote for african-americans and so-called reconstruction amendments took place. but in the aftermath, something northsted happen, we were pulled out of the south. and the reconstruction era ended and it was replaced with a ystem of jim crow. enforced segregation of the races and the suppression of african-americans largely in the deep south. knot withstanding the high minded principles -- not withstanding the high minded principles embedded in the constitution related to the 14th amendment and the equal protection clause or the 15th amendment and the right to vote.
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those were just words on a piece of paper as far as many people were concerned in the deep south who were perpetuating jim crow sec regation. that jim crow segregation was accompanied by a lynching epidemic that claimed the lives of thousands of individuals, race riots directed at successful african-americans and african-american communities. so many other things that were documented in this country. why is there a need for a congressional black caucus, the country was founded on these great, high minded principles but at the same time on this journey, we've gone from slavery, brief period of reconstruction, into the jim crow era. and then as representative beatty so eloquently documented, in terms of the legislative efforts of this african-american members who were here in partnership with people of good will of all race, democrats and
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republicans, passed the 1964 civil rights act here in this congress, endeavoring to end jim crow seg refwation, passed the 1965 voting rights act here in this congress to try to bring to light the 15th amendment largely ignored in many parts of this country. and then of course the 1968 the fair housing act. and then an interesting thing happened. you have a president who was elected in the aftermath of the assassination of robert f. kennedy jr., senator from new york, and dr. martin luther king jr., the great civil rights leader, on what he terms a southern strategy of trying to backlash on white against the progress made by
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african-americans. i'm trying to figure out what was the nature of the backlash? the progress that was made was a civil rights act to try to deal with the jim crow segregation that some people put into place in the aftermath of the end of slavery. and the 1965 voting rights act put into place in order to try to bring to light the fact that there were people intentionally ignoring the 15th amendment to the united states constitution. why is there a need for congressional black caucus? into jime from slavery with d that's all dealt for a brief period in the 1960's in terms of civil rights act and the voting rights act, the fair housing act, but then we enter
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into this interesting period where richard nixon is elected. on a strategy that played to the racial fears and anxieties of some in america. i don't want to get in trouble by putting a percentage onto it but played into the anxieties and fears of some in america. history often repeats itself. and so the congressional black caucus in 1971 made the decision that they were going to place a list of demands on the table for richard nixon to deal with, given his history. little did they know, or perhaps ey suspected, that in that same year, what i would call the has defect that america
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had to grapple with in terms of the african-american community as compared to its high minded aspirations was about to be visited on communities of color, and that was mass incarceration. in that year, in 1971, when richard nixon declared a war on drugs. by stating that drug abuse was public enemy number one. at the time in america, there were less than 350,000 people incarcerated in this country. today there are more than 2.1 million. the overwhelming majority of whom are black and latino. and we know that african-americans are consistently incarcerated at levels much higher than others in the united states, notwithstanding a similar level
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of criminality as it relates to the crime that was committed. the activity that was engaged in. and the conduct that was prosecuted. the disparities are objectively clear. mass incarceration has been devastating for african-american communities all across this country. and it's shameful that america incarcerates more people here in the united states than any other country in the world. we incarcerate more people than russia and china combined. and this overcriminalization is something i'm hopeful we can deal with in this congress before this president leaves and then continue to work with the next president of the united states of america.
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so people ask the question, why do we need a congressional black caucus? we've gone from slavery, brief interruption with the reconstruction amendment, into jim crow, another 100 years, 14th amendment, 15th amendment are ignored in large parts of the country. and then we get an interruption, some progress made with the 1964 civil rights act, the 1965 voting rights act, the 1968 fair housing act. then we get richard nixon. the congressional black caucus is founded the same time, the last 45 years we've been dealing with mass incarceration. but not wid standing the intensity of the systematic issues put upon the african-american community, we've seen tremendous progress during that same period of time because of members like william clay sr., founder from st.
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louis, or lewis stokes from eveland, ohio, and augusta tarken from los angeles. people who understood that when abraham lincoln asked the question, how do we create a more perfect union, he asked that question in the context of the civil war that was raging at the time, that america is a constant work in progress and year after year, decades after -- decade after decade, century after century, we can improve upon who we are but there's still a lot more that needs to be done. thankfully we've seen increases in educational attainment, increases in employment over the last eight years in the african-american community. since the height of the great recession. and we've seen a return of some of the home ownership that was
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lost in the recession but there are still a lot of things that need to be done. and so a congressional black caucus which has grown from the 13 original founding members to 46 members today, 45 in the house of representatives. ne of whom is a republican and 46th member who serves in the united states senate. and we stand on the shoulders of these founding members, proud of what has been accomplished like -- effort led by rondellham y ron dellham which led to legislation to push back against the racist apartheid regime in 1986 a bill vetoed by ronald reagan and then overridden by democrats and republicans in the house and senate. he first foreign policy bill
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erridden in the congress passed by ron dellham, led the ffort related to south african apartheid. so many issues that have been championed by founding members john conyers held a series of hearings on the issue of police brutality. it's ironic that right now, along with chairman bob goodlatte, they're leading a bipartisan task force on police community relations to deal with what i view at least as an epidemic of police violence directed at unarmed african-american men across this country but john conyers was involved in that effort in the early 1970's. so there's a lot of things we've been able to work on during this
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45-year journey. tremendous progress has been made despite the efforts to int the community as overrun by some here in this country. the thriving, black middle class. the successful group of entrepreneurs, professionals, lawyers, doctors, engineers. scientists. and so many others. who have shown what can be done based on their promise and otential despite the obstacles that exist. as we move toward a more color blind society. but we, of course, are not there yet. that's why we're of the view that despite the fact that we made tremendous progress in america, we still have a way to go. an urgent l a need
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need for a congressional black caucus which has often stood up not just on behalf of african-americans but has stood up on behalf of those who are the least, the least, the lost regardless behind of color. -- why we've been the conscience of the congress during my two terms to serve in this august body. i want to yield for a moment to my colleague, representative joyce beatty and perhaps ask the question, what are some of the issues that you think are pressing as it relates to the congressional black caucus moving forward and what do you say to critics who make the argument, what is the need for african-americans in the congress to get together at
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thintth point on behalf of the communities we were elected to represent, is there still a need for a congressional black caucus in 2016? mrs. beatty: let me just say thank you for that, congressman jeffries. if i think of one of my favorite quotes by shirley chisholm, mr. speaker, she said, you don't make progress by standing on the sidelines. you make progress by implementing ideas. so that's what the congressional black caucus does. we don't just come here on the floor and talk about our rich history. we meet and we strategize and we go back home to our districts and we come back and we write legislation, so there's definitely a need. i think it will be witnessed all across this country this week when the thousands of thousands of individuals come here because
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they'll have an opportunity to see congressman charlie rangel or congresswoman maxine waters or congresswoman robin kelly. because of the issues and what they stand for. that's why there's a need. when i think of our commitment and conviction, mr. speaker, i remember when congresswoman robin kelly said, i won't stand up for a moment of silence again until we do something about the shootings and the deaths. she had the courage to walk up to the well and say, i'm not being disrespectful but i want us to really stand for something. so yes, i want us to have gun safety. immaterial us to have legislation because we have bipartisan legislation. i want us to bring that to the floor so i can say, in my district, i'm standing up for
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family, i'm standing up for safety. you mention prison reform. can t us to look at how we come together as democrats and republicans, mr. speaker, and pass some bipartisan legislation . when i think of the congressional black caucus and what we represent, when i think that when you add it all up together, that we cover some 21 states and the district of columbia and the virgin islands and we represent some 30 million people, over half of our congressional black caucus membership are lawyers. people who have studied the laws and understand the procedures and the rules and the regulations. .

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